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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Lincoln,Nebraska,USA
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    The only thing that I know for sure is that my honey harvest has risen since I started extracting verses crush and strain.That does not mean that I am against crush and strain because to go out and buy an extractor when starting out would be foolish. Once you have done it for some time and decide you are going to do it on a much larger scale then I would call that justified. But if you are going to stay small crush and strain would probably be for you espesially if cost was a factor. It's kind of like if you have a cow you wish to have a calf and she is your only cow you don't go out and buy a prize bull that would be ridiculous even overkill. It's the same way with extractors when crush and strain will suffice why spend the extra expense. Your honey harvest may not be what the big boys are getting but the wax amounts you will get can make up for that. You can make candles or sale the wax or trade it for new foundation.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    I think the ability to store on minor flows is really quite a large part of it in many parts of the country. We simply don't get big extended flows here. Once hot weather hits, even feeding won't get the bees to produce much comb. We get pretty strong fall flows many years, and the bees will fill all available comb, but still won't make new comb like they do in the spring.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,429

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    This is a little bit off topic, but may be something you would like to check into in your area. We have a couple of beeks in our county who own extractors and at different times of the year they offer up the use of their machine for several smaller beekeepers. They all bring their supers in on a predetermined afternoon and each will extract their own honey. They offer a small percent of their harvest to the owner of the extractor and then go on their way. It can be a rewarding social activity and everyone ends up gaining in one way or another.
    To everything there is a season....

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,288

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    There is no doubt the bees fill drawn comb quickly and having to build comb slows them down and decreases the harvest. How much, is the issue and if it's worth buying an extractor for only a few hives. I don't think it is. I didn't buy one until 26 years into my beekeeping but I never had more than seven hives for that 26 years either and I didn't have the money to spare for an extractor. When I did buy one it was a 9/18 motorized and it was the right time for me to buy it as I was expanding and the extractor was on sale.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    984

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    As most of us know mr. Taylor was very much biaed toward comb honey. I did meet him some years back and a very interesting person to talk to. Paper will let you write anything on it you want and I would totally disagree with Mr. Taylors statement that a strong colony will make almost as much comb honey as they will using drawn comb. For anyone in doubt take 1/2 of your colonies and use foundation andthe other half use drawn comb....make sure colonies ae simular in strength....you will make 2 to 1. Any beekeeper who has had bees and tried to maximize productin and control swarming will tell you the same thing. YES it cost money for a bottling tank but you can use a 5 gal bucket with a gate and hand held knife with a solar wax melter. Yu dont have to invest in big $$ items. Lets say you have 10 hives and produce 40 lbs comb honey a year and sell it for $7 a lb plus plastic box. thats $2,800 a year.(and not all people want omb) Now with extracted honey you produce 80 lbs hive and sell for $5.00 lb. Total income for one year is $4,000. so you paid for $1,200 worth of extracting equipment the FIRST year. Now multiply that times 10 years and you are up to $12,000. And you dont have to buy and replace the foundation! Yes you may have to spend your first years earnings on a building but remember all that extracting equipment can be sold to recoop most or more that you paid for it! Like I tated above YOU CANNOT control sarming without drawn comb unless you cut cells every two weeks!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Claremont, NH, USA
    Posts
    783

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    Several folks have posted that the number of hives/supers is a key factor in deciding whether or not you want/need/will benefit from an extractor or other non-manual equipment. I will add two other key factors:

    1) How many people are involved in the process; and
    2) Where you are in your life (put another way, how much time do you have?).

    For example, I got my extractor, hand cranked, when I only had one hive and motorized it when I had two hives. But, I travel a lot for a living, I'm single, and I do everything with my bees alone, in fact, I do everything on this 60-acre property alone. So, my time was limited back then, and it is even more limited now. I'm glad I bought what I did, when I did. Now that I am on my way to 20+ hives, I am beginning to look at more time savers, like an uncapper. In business, it's called 'opportunity cost'; what's the value of your time, and what else could you be doing? To do one thing, you have to give up another.

    My point is that what is a relatively easy/fast job for a couple, who are working as a team, can be a much bigger job for a person working solo, who also has a full-time job. That needs to be factored into the equation.

    And, no, I'm not saying that married people have it any easier. Everyone is short on time. But, I imagine it's gotta be nice, when there are two people working as a team in the bee yard or in the honey house.

    Bill
    “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    Sutton, my math was not to convince either way.... just a way of looking at it.....if like many you never sell honey that 1000 is a waste. many with 3-4 hives just eat it and give it to friends.... the 4 oz figure I gave is actually way off, its very close to 2.5 ounces per frame (weighed some this afternoon)...

    Bees will make wax or honey, open supers are not an issue..... if they have no open super they store in the brood nest and move it up when the wax is ready.... the don't "Stop the machine" cause you used their wax...

    Extractors take space and money buying one or not is not my recomendation, just throwing out some math.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    East Lansing, MI, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    Does anyone know if bees can reuse the wax leftovers after crush-and straining or will they just clean them off the honey?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    3,489

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    We have beekeepers in Tulsa who will rent an extractor for not a lot. If you (and I'm not speaking to anybody in particular) don't have that option, maybe you could offset the cost of buying an extractor by becoming that option. Just a thought.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    Quote Originally Posted by Timpeti View Post
    Does anyone know if bees can reuse the wax leftovers after crush-and straining or will they just clean them off the honey?
    I let them clean it up and they do take a small portion of the cappings... I would say around 10% don't know what they do with them, or if its just honey soaked and they carry it off....

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    984

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    GM charlie...I understand what you are saying....Its just really hard to manage bees to prevent swarming without drawn comb and get a good crop of honey... Also I was trying to show what the cost would be over the long term....you can buy a small extractor, hand knife, 5 gal bucket with gate without a lot of $. In the long haul if you stay in the bee business 5 or 10 years you will be $$$$ ahead! It also can vary from location to location.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,288

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    >Like I tated above YOU CANNOT control sarming without drawn comb unless you cut cells every two weeks!

    Empty frames in the brood nest work fine with no drawn comb. I haven't found cutting cells to work at all.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    Quote Originally Posted by mythomane View Post
    Just a note in defense of Taylor:

    1-People like comb honey. It will sell well, and you can bump the price so that it perhaps offsets some of the loss from the comb they have to draw.

    2-Having been friends with Richard I can tell you that he did not always agree with the stuff he wrote in his books. He was in a location (Interlaken, NY) which was pefect for producing comb honey. You may not have such luck.
    I said that i didn't agree with him kinda tounge and cheek since I just ordered an extractor last week.....I am a huge fan of his work and think every beek should have a book or two of his!! I have also produced comb honey but it seems to sell more as an oddity than anything else around here.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    984

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    I agree michael..cutting cells is NOT a good method of swarm control. I can work but you cant miss one and have to keep doing it....a poor method at best. Pulling brood and putting in empty comb as you state is the best way! BUt if you have a 4 week flow bees are likely to swarm if just comb honey supers are used or you have to keep pulling some brood and adding empty frames which will reduce you yield. You also will have to have more hives for those splits.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Claremont, NH, USA
    Posts
    783

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    You also need to keep in mind the characteristics of your bees. Last year I started some Russian packages. One hive built a large number of queen cells. I had read that they were swarmy, but was not prepared for it with a new package and a queen with a great pattern. So, I did exactly the wrong thing and went around cutting out queen cells. These were the real deal, not cups. The hive never swarmed.

    Afterward, when I thought about the stupid human trick I had just done, I figured I had gotten lucky and dodged a bullet.

    Fast forward to this year. Colonies are mature and in three deeps with supers on top and plenty of space. I decided to let them do what they do and put some traps around in hopes of catching a swarm or two, since I was sure they would do it this year. Not one. Are they building and tearing down queen cells in there? I don't know, but they probably are/were, and in hindsight I'll bet that's what they were doing last year and my actions had little or no impact on them. I probably didn't even get all the cells, since they are a bear to find on that many frames.

    My point is that you can do everything right (not saying that I did that last year but, maybe, this year) and the bees will still do what they do. For some bees queen cells are just a more aggressive back up plan and don't necessarily result in a swarm (or supercedure).

    Bill
    “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,235

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    For comparison purposes I looked at two hives that started as swarms in April. Neither received any external feed and both were located within 50 feet of each other.

    The smaller swarm (3-4 frames of bees) moved into a fully drawn hive body consisting of two deeps. As it filled the second box with bees it was given fully drawn supers. To date I have harvested 3 supers full of honey and they are still working on #4.

    The larger swarm (6-8 frames of bees) was put into a single deep of undrawn and was later given another deep to draw out. Again as the second box was completed it was given a couple of drawn supers. To date they have almost filled one super but will likely not fill the second one.

    So, the cost for drawing comb in 2 deeps is 2-3 medium supers of honey.

    Fuzzy

    PS: I retail the honey for 6-8 dollars a pint. So 3 supers of honey would pay for a reasonable extractor in 1 year.
    Last edited by Fuzzy; 08-25-2009 at 03:44 PM. Reason: to add a P.S.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    rochester ny usa
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    cost is an interesting idea .
    in my mind, it all depends. if you like working with your hands and have the time, then building an exrtactor isn't much of a cost. A small one can be run off a 1/2in drill. 15- 20$ on creigslist. If you arn't handy then going in with a few people on an extractor might be the way to go. it is a heck of a lot more fun to to this as a group than alone.

    cappings can be sold back to some of the foundation manufactures or to other local beeks who are doing candles for the local farmers markets .

    just a few thoughts.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Damascus, Maryland
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    well I have a few hives and C&S every other frame: when I look back into the hives they are filling everyother one...... and NOT makeing new wax.
    "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    Quote Originally Posted by teebee View Post
    Also another question that factors in. Are honey comb frames cycled out after a certain number of years?
    I think that it's wise to cycle out brood frames but there's no need to cycle out super frames. The bees clean them up and reuse them year after year with no issues until the frames fall apart (they will in an extractor). I have some that I've been using almost 20 years (sheesh, I'm gettin' old). I try to change out the worst or oldest brood frame in each hive every year (in spring). I don't know that it does me much good other than I get rid of all the ugly and malformed combs. Bees don't seem to mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    We get pretty strong fall flows many years, and the bees will fill all available comb, but still won't make new comb like they do in the spring.
    That's my experience. Without drawn super frames you don't get much honey here. They only draw fresh comb in the spring. In the fall they're getting ready for winter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >I haven't found cutting cells to work at all.
    But it's the best and most effective way to end up with a queenless hive. Just say no.

    Quote Originally Posted by bnatural View Post
    For some bees queen cells are just a more aggressive back up plan and don't necessarily result in a swarm (or supercedure).
    I posted a thread about reading in The Hive and the Honeybee that bees use the queen cells they build only around 50% of the time. Those are pretty good odds against cutting out cells. Better to let them swarm and catch it IMO. You can recombine later or use it for increase.

    I've found old 2 and 4 frame extractors for less than $100. If I were starting out today, I'd keep my eyes open for an old, small extractor and buy it. You can always save it for small jobs, loan it out after you don't need it, donate it to your bee club for loaning to newbies, or sell it for more than you paid for it. Just get the word out. There's got to be a widow of an old beek out there wanting to get it out of a closet or garage.

    The fact is you'll make much more honey with drawn frames than without. Is that why you're keeping bees? If you are in it for other reasons the gear for extracting may not be necessary.

    Here's antoher approach:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8b4k-RIH14
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: "cost" of crush and strain

    In y'alls' experience, is it faster to crush and strain a super as opposed to removing the cappings and extracting in a 2-frame junior bench extractor (which I was lucky enough to have a brother give to me)?

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